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What Makes A Director An Auteur?

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  • M
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    #1202196702

    The question is in the title. I want everyone’s opinion and I’ll add mine.

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    Jake
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    #1202197125

    I guess 2 things:
    A – he’s not only directing but also writing, maybe editing, acting -> full creative control
    B – he has his own style/technique/way of telling the story that is instantly recognized even from film to film

    That’s how I understand it.

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    Emil Petrov
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    #1202197150

    Just look at Grand Budapest Hotel and you will see why Wes Anderson is an Auteur. The movie speak for itself.

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    M
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    #1202197228

    I believe the swiftest way to being seen as one is repetition in style and thematic material.

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    Jake
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    #1202198960

    ^Well, yes and no. Is Michael Bay an auteur then?

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    Macca
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    #1202198964

    ^Well, yes and no. Is Michael Bay an auteur then?

    Yes Michael Bay is considered an auteur by many. It doesn’t matter if you think that he’s a bad director, I don’t consider Hitchcock to be as good a director as his counterparts from that era, but he is definitely an auteur in every respect. Personal appreciation doesn’t come into the classification of an auteur, it should be objective.

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    GusCruz
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    #1202199333

    ^Well, yes and no. Is Michael Bay an auteur then?

    Look up “vulgar auteurism”

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    M
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    #1202199483

    ^Well, yes and no. Is Michael Bay an auteur then?

    Never equate auteur with guaranteed seal of approval for quality.

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    AnDres Gtz
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    #1202199822

    ^Well, yes and no. Is Michael Bay an auteur then?

    No. An auteur is supposed to write his/her own films at least, and have a great control over the other elements to create his/her vision of the world, thus making every project highly personal. Impregnating what Truffaut defined as “psychological realism”, not just literary narratives or technical quality. Bay is actually the definition of an industry director.

    The style is nothing but the “trademark” of each director, which is defined mostly by the likes of their project choices or tendency to certain genres, rather than an actual impression of their reality. (Judd Apatow makes always long comedies with realistic and improvised dialogues with loveless depressed character, but that’s his tendency: doesn’t make him an auteur).

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    Andrew D
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    #1202200423

    I think its just people idolize a director or some of his works ( for what ever reasons ) and they project their feelings onto the director and they obsess over them … Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppla, Christopher Nolan … all possible Auteurs simply because “we” obsess over them and claim they are brilliant.. when it will take years and year before we know if their films will actually make a lasting mark on cinema …. in 100 years will anyone still speak about them ….

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    Marco B.
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    #1202200438

    Beside what others already said, I tend (personal and subjective interpretation) to define as an auteur a director of art cinema (which is a problematic definition in itself, lol) = someone whose work is not only very recognizable, but also marks extremely innovative, original and daring filmmaking (this is why I wouldn’t put Sofia Coppola, although LiT is my favourite movie). Terrence Malick is clearly an auteur, for example.

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    Andrew D
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    #1202200444

    Terrence Malick is clearly an auteur, for example.

    yea i would agree with that

    but i almost feel like we have to wait like ten or twenty years to see if the movies hold up

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    Maxwell
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    #1202200481

    It originally meant a director whose style and artistry was distinctive enough that they were the author of the film. This was an especially useful distinction in golden age Hollywood, wherein one might say Michael Curtiz and George Cukor were excellent directors of classic films, but John Ford and Howard Hawks were auteurs.

    Nowadays, both directors and audience members view directors as the primary authors of their films, and really the only films one might think of where the director is not the primary author are, say, Marvel films.

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    GusCruz
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    #1202200593

    Beside what others already said, I tend (personal and subjective interpretation) to define as an auteur a director of art cinema (which is a problematic definition in itself, lol) = someone whose work is not only very recognizable, but also marks extremely innovative, original and daring filmmaking (this is why I wouldn’t put Sofia Coppola, although LiT is my favourite movie). Terrence Malick is clearly an auteur, for example.

    I can’t agree with this because I can’t see what you mean by “art cinema”. Sofia is most definitely an auteur.

    What people need to understand is that the “auteur” is an object within the Auteur Theory that was disseminated by early Cahiers du Cinema writers/critics. So the definition is very specific and not really something we can toy with (“I think it means…”). Here’s a very good write up on the theory: https://indiefilmhustle.com/auteur-theroy/ I can’t recommend enough to anyone really invested in cinephilia that they read old Cahiers issues (especially from the 60s). You can find a lot of translated stuff if your French is no good.

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